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Why the Hoka One One is loved by podiatrists

"They are like pillows of heaven for my feet."
A fitness instructor warming up with her class outdoors and an image of the Hoka One One Sneaker
Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images / Courtesy Hoka

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A good pair of sneakers can take you far — literally. That’s why we’re always searching for the most comfortable and supportive options to carry you through runs, walks, casual outings and just about every activity in between. And we couldn’t help but notice one brand that has been making waves in the shoe industry and popping up in gyms as well as the office.

Hoka One One's chunky sneakers have been extremely popular in recent years, winding up on the feet of seemingly everyone we come into contact with. And, as it turns out, they're not just a hip shoe to show off around town — they're a favorite of podiatrists, too. So we consulted two top experts to get all the details on what makes the shoes such a good pick.

Here's everything you need to know about the trendy sneaker, plus more about the brand's newest Bondi X shoe release on Oct. 1.

What is Hoka One One?

Hoka One One (pronounced ho-kah oh-nay oh-nay) was founded in 2009 by two trail running enthusiasts, Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard. While the ultra-cushioned shoes were originally designed with runners in mind, they now have options to suit almost any activity, from hiking to training.

But they're not just great for workouts. Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, a New York City-based podiatrist said that they provide comfort, support and shock absorption, which makes them a good choice for frequent walkers or anyone whose job requires them to stand for the majority of the day. "I personally own Hoka sneakers and do also recommend them to patients often," she said.

Dr. Miguel Cunha, podiatrist and founder of Gotham Footcare, said that Hoka One One is one of his favorite sneaker brands and added that he also frequently recommends the shoes to patients — especially those with wide feet. When compared to other popular sneakers, Hoka's shoes have a wider toe box, which allows for a more comfortable fit for those with a broader forefoot and can minimize the risk of developing uncomfortable conditions, like bunions or ingrown toenails, he added.

"The Hoka One One sneaker also has superior cushioning with a specially engineered EVA foam that is soft and surprisingly lightweight," Cunha said. Meaning that you'll feel the comfort with each step that you take.

Plus, many of the brand's most popular pairs come in plenty of fun colors and patterns, as well as solid neutrals that will go with anything in your closet.

New Women's Bondi X

Though the shoe doesn't release until Oct. 1, it is available for pre-order now on Hoka One One's website. The new Bondi X shoe is designed for running, but the soft foam and ventilated air flow make it versatile and perfect for everyday wear. The lightweight shoe has a carbon fiber plate for better movement and is also made out of 100% vegan materials, making it more sustainable and environmentally conscious.

Women's Bondi 7

Hoka's bestselling Bondi 7 shoe is designed for all-day comfort, Sutera said. "I love that it has a wide, thick footbed for stability and maximum cushion for comfort."

The shoes also feature a breathable mesh upper and a soft memory foam collar, that will provide cushioning for your Achilles and prevent blisters from forming. "They are like pillows of heaven for my feet," wrote one reviewer.

Women's Clifton 8

In June, Hoka released the Clifton 8, the newest model of its popular running shoe. Its predecessor, the Clifton 7, was listed as an excellent choice for runners who are looking for a softer and lighter shoe, according to Cunha. "They are designed with a plush collar that reduces pressure placed on the back of the foot, providing increased comfort and support," he said.

Women's Gaviota 3

Another bestselling option, the Gaviota 3 is an ultra-comfortable sneaker that features a thick, cushioned foam base and a breathable mesh material on top. "Love the support and stability it gives me," one reviewer wrote. "I'm not a runner, but wanted to start walking. It's so lightweight and comfortable. Love the way it feels on my feet. Makes me want to get out and exercise!"

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